Pudding is a kind of food that can be either a dessert or a savory dish. The word pudding is believed to come from the French boudin, originally from the Latin botellus, meaning "small sausage", referring to encased meats used in Medieval European puddings.
In the United Kingdom and some of the Commonwealth countries, the word pudding can be used to describe both sweet and savory dishes. Unless qualified, however, the term in everyday usage typically denotes a dessert; in the UK, pudding is used as a synonym for a dessert course. Dessert puddings are rich, fairly homogeneous starch- or dairy-based desserts such as rice pudding, steamed cake mixtures such as Treacle sponge pudding with or without the addition of ingredients such as dried fruits as in a Christmas pudding. Savory dishes include Yorkshire pudding, black pudding, suet pudding and steak and kidney pudding.
In the United States and some parts of Canada, pudding characteristically denotes a sweet milk-based dessert similar in consistency to egg-based custards, instant custards or a mousse, often commercially set using cornstarch, gelatin or similar collagen agent such as the Jell‑O brand line of products.
In Commonwealth countries these puddings are called custards (or curds) if they are egg-thickened, blancmange if starch-thickened, and jelly if gelatin based. Pudding may also refer to other dishes such as bread pudding and rice pudding, although typically these names derive from the origin as British dishes.